CDT Day 115: 14.5 miles / 23 km

CDT SOBO: Mile 1650.0 – 1662.5 + 2 miles on Hwy 34

Friday August 9, 2019

I had trouble sleeping being camped so close to town. We were about two miles out from Grand Lake Village. It was light by the time we broke camp and got back out on the highway to walk into town. On approaching the town we saw a moose, a very large female grazing peacefully in the meadow. The mountain tops fringing the lake shore were capped by low hanging fog. It looked quite magical.

We found a bakery open early and it was fantastic to sit indoors at a table and have a delicious breakfast and coffee. We lingered at the table while charging our devices. By the time we left the cafe the sun was out and it was a beautiful sunny and warm morning. There was a lovely holiday feel to the whole town.

Our next section of trail is 130 miles to Breckenridge and we had to buy food for the section. Not a great variety of foods to choose from in the two grocery stores but we managed to resupply. And as we didn’t have a room in town, we sat in the park and repacked. By 11.00 we were ready for lunch and a top up charge to our battery before leaving town. We had a sandwich with a side salad at Cy Deli. We were ready and bursting to go.

Almost every town has been hard to leave but the finish line was calling. On the way out of town we met up with a couple who had offered us a ride yesterday on the Highway. Hammer refused the ride before I had a chance to accept. The couple laughed today saying they thought that would have resulted in a fight. Well it almost did, but it wasn’t an overly long road walk so I calmed down quickly. They gave us suggestions for places to visit if we pass through Leadville. Almost everyone we’ve come across in this town has been super friendly.

By 1.00pm we were finally on our way. The trail followed the eastern shore of Grand Lake. By now it was very warm and humid. The humidity reminded us of warm summer days at home. There was a lovely sweet smell given off by the prolific low shrub lining the trail. It was bursting in flower. It was simply beautiful hiking conditions.

When the trail was exposed to the lake there was a lovely cool breeze blowing. It was nice to see people out on boats enjoying the summer warmth. We stopped to chat to one group who were close to shore. “Stay safe” their small son called out to us as we were leaving. Such a lovely gesture from such a young person, it made me smile as we walked on.

I didn’t know until we continued hiking along this huge lake system, that the lakes are a part of the Colorado River. Grand Lake, flows into Shadow Mountain Lake which becomes the Colorado River again which then flows into the huge Lake Grandby.

We had thoughts of heading all the way to Arapahoe Campground which is right by Lake Granby. But late in the afternoon we passed a perfect campsite by the lake and decided to stop. Mosquitoes have been pleasantly absent for much of the afternoon hiking. Even when we stopped to camp a few were around but certainly not the huge hordes of bloodthirsty suckers we’ve had up till now.